What is the Alkaline Detox?
The alkaline detox diet is meant to help you lose excess weight, prevent unhealthy cravings, and take better care of your overall health. The diet mainly focuses on the natural pH of the human body. The foods that you choose to fuel your body with can alter your inner pH level, making it more acidic or alkaline on the pH scale. Alkalizing your body through detox can help you achieve and maintain a healthier pH level, and expel nasty toxins that have accumulated in your body.
Many harmful human diseases thrive in an acidic environment. By growing your understanding of pH and the importance of a healthy diet, you can start making better choices for your health today. The alkaline detox diet is all about removing acidic foods from your diet while incorporating alkalizing foods into it to bring more balance to your system. The detox period is approximately 10 days long but even after the detox is over, I encourage you to continue to fuel your body with mostly alkalizing foods to keep the ball rolling in the health department! The concept of the alkaline detox diet couldn’t be simpler and more straightforward.
You may remember learning about pH back in your grammar school science class, but let’s go over what it means, and why it is important inside of your body. Knowing a little bit of background information will help you more fully understand the overall purpose of the alkaline detox diet. Sometimes referred to as the ‘acid-base balance’, the pH balance in your body is simply the proportion of acids and bases at which your system functions most optimally.
A healthy pH level will fall somewhere between 6.5 and 7.5. If your pH level happens to be lower than 6.5, then your body has a more acidic environment. If it is higher than 7.5, then your body has a more alkaline environment. If you want to find out what your pH level is, you can take a very simple urine or saliva test using litmus paper at home. Ph testing kits are readily available online or at your local drug store. During the alkaline detox diet, you should regularly test your pH each morning before consuming any food or drink to get the most accurate results.
Why Avoid Acid-Forming Foods?
Generally speaking, the American diet consists of foods and beverages that are highly acidic by nature. Fortunately, if your body is overly acidic due to a poor diet then there are a few signs that can let you know that something is going on! An overly acidic internal environment may cause you to gain weight easily, while simultaneously making it very difficult to lose that weight. This is because your body will store the excess acid in fatty tissues. This in turn will lead to undesired weight gain.
An overly acidic diet can also lead to kidney problems- namely, kidney stones called ‘uric acid stones’ that form under highly acidic conditions. Too much acidity in the diet can also cause loss of bone mass and muscle deterioration. High dietary acid loads have also been linked to high blood sugar and obesity. An acidic diet can also cause you to have feelings of bloat, fatigue, and stress.
Additionally, an overly acidic diet will have negative impacts on your skin condition. You may notice that your skin is too dry, too oily, or very prone to breakouts if your diet is overly acidic. Many negative health consequences come from eating an unhealthy diet full of acidic foods. To take better care of your health internally and externally, it is important to eat many fresh fruits and vegetables that have alkaline properties.
What Common Foods are Acidic and Alkaline?
Determining which foods are acidic vs alkaline in the body can be difficult, but having that knowledge is key to completing an alkaline detox. Knowing which foods fall where on the pH scale in your body is often not as intuitive as you may think!
For example, while we think of lemons as being a very acidic food, they play an opposite role in the body. When they are consumed, they actually have an alkalizing effect internally speaking. It is important to understand that even acidic-tasting foods can be alkalizing when they are processed by your body!
Some examples of other foods that lean more on the acidic side of the pH scale are dairy, meat, wheat, coffee, alcohol, soft drinks, and other highly processed foods and sugars. During the detox period, you obviously want to focus your diet on foods that have alkalizing effects. Some examples of highly alkalizing foods are fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and herbs and spices. Focus on these food groups during your detox, and you will be highly successful in your diet! Knowing that you have room for improvement when it comes to making important food choices is the first step towards making a positive change in your life!
How You Can Incorporate Alkalizing Foods
One of the main ways to ensure that you are following an alkalizing diet is to eat a lot of raw fruits and vegetables each day! You can juice them, blend them, or simply snack on them plain. Every raw fruit and vegetable will have alkalizing effects on your body, so you cannot go wrong by incorporating more of them into your daily eating routine!
Another surefire way to alkalize your body is to refrain from consuming animal products during your detoxing period. Replacing meat with plant-based alternatives is an easy way to satisfy your taste buds while adhering to the detox parameters. There are so many meatless options at the store these days, it should be easy to find a plant-based alternative to whatever meat you have in mind!
Personally, I find that I have the most willpower over my diet while doing my grocery shopping. If you only select healthy foods at the store, then that is what you will turn to when you are hungry at home! It is much harder to resist those yummy junk foods when they are staring you down from the pantry shelf.
Some Drawbacks to the Alkaline Detox Diet
While following an alkaline diet has a multitude of benefits, like in any diet, there are a few drawbacks to be conscious of as well. If you are on any medication that affects the level of minerals in your body, it is important to have a conversation with a medical professional before giving this diet a try.
Moreover, cutting back too much on certain food groups can lead to problems related to nutrient or protein deficiencies. It is important to think critically about what you are putting into your body daily to ensure that you are maintaining a healthy balance. You can still follow an alkaline detox diet plan while getting all of the nutrients that your body needs to function optimally! As long as you evaluate your food choices and eat a wide variety of foods, you will not experience any deficiencies with this diet. If you suffer from any other medical conditions such as kidney disease or cancer, you should also consult with a medical professional before undertaking this or any detox diet.
Long-Term Health Benefits of an Alkaline Detox Diet
What you choose to put into your body will largely impact your overall health and wellness in a multitude of ways. There is some research showing that cancerous cells can propagate more rapidly under acidic conditions, so adopting a more alkaline diet may help to prevent cancer from developing. There is still a lot of research to be done regarding the link between diet and cancer, but practicing cleaner eating certainly does more good for your body than harm- regardless of its effects on cancer!
At its core, the alkaline diet serves to promote healthy eating choices and encourage cutting back on things like highly processed foods, meats, and alcohol. Undertaking an alkaline detox diet is known to help prevent problems like bloating, sleeplessness, kidney issues, and diabetes- among other potential benefits. An alkaline diet also supports healthy weight loss goals, alleviates arthritis pains, and decreases inflammation in the body. It can even be beneficial for those who currently or previously have struggled with drug or alcohol addiction problems. Fresh and wholesome foods help to boost brain functioning and aid in the recovery process.
The alkaline diet is very similar in theory to a couple of other widely known dietary practices- namely, the Mediterranean Diet and the whole-foods plant-based diet. What all of these diets have in common is that they emphasize consumption of plant foods, and discourage consumption of highly processed foods and red meats.
After undertaking the alkaline detox diet, you should take the benefits a step further by incorporating more alkaline foods into your diet indefinitely. Improving your diet is one simple way to improve your overall quality of life.
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